WordPress Share: An Historic Description of Awareness Holders of the Great Secret Mantra who are Resplendent in White Clothes and Long Hair

A brief oral commentary by Kyabje Kunzang Dorje Rinpoche

“…Ever since the time of the meeting of the three masters, Khenpo Shatarakshita, Lopon Padmasambhava and the Dharma King, Trison Detsen in 8th century Tibet, there were two divisions of sangha, known as the sangha of monastics with shaven-heads and the saffron robes…”

Source: An Historic Description of Awareness Holders of the Great Secret Mantra who are Resplendent in White Clothes and Long Hair

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amazon review: Echoes, The Boudhanath Teachings by Thinley Norbu

echoes_norbu

Echoes, The Boudhanath Teachings by Thinley Norbu

amazon.com review:

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2E067JETMPO61/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1611803020

Buddha’s Echoes in this world

How does one review a book like this? Well, obviously one has to read it first, but then again there are so many reviews out there that are based on misreading or surrounding issues, I myself am guilty of having written a few like that. Now, why would I go into this discussion here? Because this book if read by a wider circle of readers has potential to be quite controversial. From the opening pages where Kyabje Thinley Norbu Rinpoche describes the types of people to be met in the West, both ones that have met the Dharma and ones that have not. To the very direct, non descriptive points made through out the book. As in something along the lines of “According to the Buddha Shakyamuni, the fundamental quality of the Dharma is directness”. And / or a description of how Mahasiddha Saraha became a pure monk through realization that arose through his relationship with the arrowsmith’s daughter. And then a recounting of that point by telling us that realization is the point and in the same time that we do not have to try to all be like Saraha…

And back to the opening pages where there is a description of meeting many people getting confused through the introduction to the Dharma and also many people that try to guide their life through regular common sense who are direct, simple and have good minds…

What I see here through my subjective understanding is direct answers to (sometimes heated, back and forth discussion) personal and general questions. These answers come without any agenda from the mind of one of the greatest exponents of the Dharma of recent times.

While this book can confuse any one with a degree of fixed opinion, either a beginner or person that knows a bit, it is for sure to be very clear and easy to understand if approached with an open mind and motivation of obtainment of the result of direct wisdom teaching.

As is remembered:

Shakyamuni Buddha final words: ‟Impermanence is inherent in all things. Work out your own freedom with diligence”

Most amazing, may it be of benefit.

Ngakpas – Snow Lion Publications Newsletter

The Ngakpa Tradition: an Interview with Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche

That was published in Fall 2006 issue of Snow Lion: Buddhist News and Catalog – http://www.snowlionpub.com, it is reposted here with permission from the publisher.

Jeff Cox: Not many people in the West understand what ngakpas are, though many have seen photos of these long-haired, white-robed yogis. Perhaps the one that is best known is the late Yeshe Dorje, who was His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s “weatherman”—that is, he was called on to control the weather for certain occasions. I’d like to understand more about the pure ngakpa tradition.

Khetsun Sangpo Rinpoche: Ngakpas can marry and have families. Their practice is essentially inward and a true spiritual practice.

JC: Is a ngakpa lineage more involved with working with the natural forces, the deities of the weather, the local deities? Do they have a more shamanic tradition?

KSR: They are engaged in similar rituals and ceremonies as those in the shamanic tradition but there is a distinct difference. This is, for the ngakpa the purpose and final goal is enlightenment in order to liberate others and self. Usually in the shamanic tradition no one talks of enlightenment—it’s only for healings and temporary performance, which are maybe only for this life’s well-being. The goal is not as high.

JC: I see. You are saying that ngakpas will do similar kinds of things as shamans but the purpose is for creating better conditions for enlightenment, either mental or physical?

KSR: Yes. Simply, ngakpas do what they do not only for the present moment’s well-being but also for future enlightenment.

JC: I see. Is there anything else Rinpoche would like to say about the ngakpa tradition?

KSR: Buddhist monks take pratimoksa vows, of which there are two hundred fifty-three. But ngagpas, with their tantric vows and the samayas [commitments], there are a hundred thousand they have to keep in their mental level. It’s about practice in every single moment to keep all this and not engage in non-virtuous things.

JC: When you say “one hundred thousand vows” it’s like saying that at every moment of your day you have to maintain your awareness. It is not that there really are one hundred thousand.

KSR: Yes, it’s metaphorical.

JC: To keep the mind pure all the time.

KSR: Not pure but just aware.

JC: Aware?

KSR: You need a very high awareness to keep one hundred thousand samayas. So if people are keeping that kind of awareness, even though they appear outwardly as just simple beings they actually are great beings—they are realized or high practitioners.

Otherwise, most people, if they cannot take the ordained vow or keep all the samayas, then they can only make some connection to the Dharma but enlightenment would be very difficult. No matter what you do, if you don’t want to take ordained vows then become a lay practitioner. All you have to do is keep all those samayas well and then you become a true ngagkpa.

JC: Are you saying that tantric practice in the ngakpa way is more strict than that of the average practitioner who does tantric practice?

KSR: Exactly. On the mental level it is much stricter.

JC: So a practitioner in a Nyingma monastery who has taken pratimoksa vows or whatever and is also a tantric practitioner wouldn’t have the same expectation as a ngakpa tantric practitioner would?

KSR: Yes, the difference is that if you are a lay person, in order not to break all these vows every moment you need a high awareness. If you stay in a monastery the vows are much easier to keep.

JC: Okay, I guess the question is: if people were serious about practicing, why would they choose to be ngakpas when it may be easier another way? What is it inside one that makes one choose a ngakpa life?

KSR: Many people begin to follow the ngakpa tradition because to outward appearances the life looks like that of a lay person in which you can engage in everything: you can take a woman or you can drink alcohol. But what they don’t initially know is that there are very subtle restrictions and disciplines or awareness that must come with that. It is even harder than staying in a monastery.

JC: Because the practitioners stay in life, they are transforming the conditions of natural life, not an artificial life, which, in a way, a monastery is. So if your mind is disciplined enough to maintain inward awareness as you are saying, then the ngakpa way may actually have more power?

KSR: Yes. If you follow all the tantric samayas, you can recognize all those poisons and you progress much faster and much more powerfully than others, but also it is a very dangerous path if you cannot keep all the samayas. The broken samaya is even worse and it brings worse results. Being a ngakpa is like being a snake in a bamboo hole—you have to go up or down, there is no side way you can exit. It is much more dangerous and risky. There are only two ways: If you really follow the samaya practice you will gain the fastest result, gain enlightenment and help others, or if you break samaya you go to hell.

JC: So it doesn’t sound like a job everyone would want. Sometimes people choose this path because they are born into a family of ngakpas?

KSR: Yes, that is one reason, and also, what one prefers. Because of one’s physical nature or mental inclination or because one has reached a certain stage to take a consort or whatever.

Loppon (translator): Or if you come from a family of ngakpas—in my hometown, the twenty-five disciples and their descendants in the area kept the dharma in the family. The ngakpas from the family came together in the village and built a temple we call the ngag kang, meaning the ngakpa’s assembly hall. We didn’t have such formality but because of influence from the monastic tradition we built this temple, gathering on the auspicious days every month to make rituals, and give teachings and empowerments. But this is just a particular family lineage: always the eldest son will become the ngakpa and the rest of the children are sent to the monastery. But of course there are many others not from the family lineage who just want to become ngakpas in order to learn tantra without leaving the social life. There are a lot like that.

JC: The ngakpa path appeals to Westerners but it may not be something that is recommended.

KSR: No one tells you to become a ngakpa or not; it all depends on your practice. You come to the teaching, you start practice, and slowly progress. When you cultivate your merit, your wisdom is rising and you gain this awareness and then you spontaneously can keep all the practices. Such ones are the true ngakpas, the true practitioner ngakpas. The others are appearance ngakpas, who wear the clothes and leave the hair long. Tibetan lamas are shy to do that in the West but surprisingly many Western students wear these things like yogis.

JC: Yes, these days many Westerners look like ngakpas.

KSR: Tibetans don’t try to look like ngakpas. That is the difference: If you really follow those samayas you are a great practitioner and nobody can see it from the outside. On the other hand those who cannot follow anything but wear the clothes, it is nothing but costumes and emblems that they hold. Everything goes the opposite way if you really cannot hold the samayas.

Interview by Jeff Cox.

About this blog, yahoo names, worthwhile books…

Link to the Amazon.com review. Here is a scan of the cover of the book from my library. I remember finding it in the 2nd hand bookstore in which I worked. I had mixed feelings, because I was not really familiar with it’s author yet and looking at that cover I saw an excellent picture of Zangdok Pelry in same time table of contents provided for very broad range (really broad) of subjects covered, arguably too broad for a book to cover and not become one of most famous books on Nyingma practice published in 1995. I was never disappointed reading it when I brought it home. It is a very good book, by a very good author that I have developed trust towards. It is just very curious to think abut this kinds of things and clearly see (hopefully) how it had nothing to do with the book or the author, but rather with my own obscurations, due to which I had slight confusion arise, even as I was looking at representation of Pure Land of Guru Rinpoche (which was the reason I bought the book anyway, I said to myself: “I got to have book with such a cover no mater what I feel at the moment”)

There exists a very great commentary on heart practice of all Nyingmapas, the Vajra Seven Line Prayer to Guru Rinpoche, the Padmasambhava. It is written by most important scholar of recent times Lama Mipham Namgyal Rinpoche (1846-1912). Title of the commentary is Pema Karpo (White Lotus) Tulku Thondup Rinpoche summarizes this work in 11th chapter of the book.

I was not able to register shorter names that came to mind like “omahhum” with yahoo, they are all taken already, however I was happy to register gurupemasiddhihum, which is no other then concise supplication for blessings to the Guru.

Here are quotations:
Page 171:
“Master (GURU) Padmasambhava (PEMA), please bestow (HUM) attainments (SIDDHI) [upon us].”

Page 173:
“GURU means master or spiritual guide, one who is prosperous with excellent qualities; to whom no one is superior…
PADMA is the first part of Guru Rinpoche’s name.
SIDDHI is what we want to accomplish – the common and uncommon attainments.
HUM means the supplication to bestow the siddhis (attainments).
So, O Guru Padma, bestow the siddhi.”

Thus, URL of this personal page in which I plan to collect things and sometimes, as time allows post pictures is:

EDIT:

http://360.yahoo.com/gurupemasiddhihum – old URL for this blog, https://gurupemasiddhihum.wordpress.com – new URL for this blog.
If you like to stay in touch, you are welcome to bookmark it. Thank you for showing interest and taking time to visit.